It's mom's birthday today. I called her and wished her well and then got a cavity filled. She wanted to know how everything was and was delighted to hear from her son who calls her all too-infrequently. She lives far away and can't travel easily.
Now remember that this is the same lady who painted a rainbow from one end of the living room wall to the other end. The same mom that posted Playboy centerfolds around the house to de-mystify naked women after finding us two boys too curious about dad's magazines. The same mom who took a bully kid out of my class and took him on personal field trips because she thought that would help him be sociable (so did his mom who I suppose was raising this angry boy on her own). The same mom who gathered the neighbor kids together in the kitchen and taught them how to make puppets. The mom who our young neighbor Susie asked, "Mrs Collier, learn me to cook."
Mom made our lives as children simply magical. At the time I didn't know it. Thanks Mom. I love you.